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Tesla Battery Supplier Panasonic Cuts Entire Stake In Elon Musk Company

Tesla Battery Supplier Panasonic Cuts Entire Stake In Elon Musk Company

Panasonic Corp (OTC: PCRFY), a key battery supplier and an early investor in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), has shed all of its stake — worth about $730 million — in the Palo Alto, California-based electric vehicle company last fiscal year, as per a Nikkei Asia report.

What Happened: Panasonic shed its entire Tesla stake to fund new strategic investments, the report noted. The Japanese company, which has supplied lithium-ion cells for the EV maker's battery packs, told Nikkei it will continue to maintain the “business partner” relationship with Tesla.

The sale likely accounted for most of the $3.9 billion in “proceeds from sale and redemption of investments” that Panasonic reported in its annual filings, as per Nikkei.

All of the Tesla shares held by Panasonic were sold by the end of March. 

See Also: In Tesla's Quest For $25,000 EV, Panasonic Thinks It Has Crucial Role To Play

Why It Matters: Panasonic first bought shares in Tesla in 2010 soon after the latter's NASDAQ listing and months after it had signed the first supply contract with the electric vehicle maker. 

Panasonic is a key battery supplier for Tesla and the two companies had last year signed a three-year pricing deal to manufacture and supply lithium-ion battery cells at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada.

The Osaka-headquartered Panasonic had then bought about 1.4 million shares at $21.15 a share, as per the report. The investment provided Tesla with a valuable monetary boost and helped Panasonic lift its auto battery business.

Tesla's price began soaring early last year when it breached the $900 mark at one point and could have possibly fetched Panasonic billions of dollars. Panasonic had in April announced a $7.1 billion deal to buy U.S. supply chain software developer Blue Yonder.

Price Action: Tesla shares closed 3.54% higher at $679.82 on Thursday. Panasonic shares closed 2.2% higher at $11.39 on Thursday.

Click here to check out Benzinga's EV Hub for the latest electric vehicles news.


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